Schizophrenia and related disorders

Schizophrenia and related disorders

21 Jul 2020

Schizophrenia is a common Psychiatric condition affecting about 1 % of the world’s population. It is commonly seen in the late teens and 20’s but can also be present at other ages 

What are common symptoms of Schizophrenia? 

Individuals with schizophrenia commonly present with either 

  1. “Positive symptoms”-Characterized by hearing voices, seeing or smelling things which others don’t perceive and may be suggestive “hallucinations”. In addition, they may have fears related to be talked about, harmed, their thoughts being known to others or being controlled. 
  1. “Negative symptoms”-This more often comes in with progression of the illness and is characterized by lack of motivation to do things, reduced social interaction, reduced emotional expression, reduced self-care etc. 
  1. There may be other symptoms such as anxiety, low mood, irritability, concentration difficulties. 

Can schizophrenia be treated with counselling alone? 

Medications are an important cornerstone for treatment of Schizophrenia. However, Counselling and Psychotherapy will have an additional important role in dealing with some symptoms of this illness and also coping better with it 

“I hear there are too many side effects of treatment-should I take at all”? 

While it is true that medications may have their side effects like in any illness, you and your doctor will have to discuss side effects that needs to be watched for and address them .It is also important to note that not being on adequate treatment can have serious implication on one’s health 

“What are long acting injections” in Schizophrenia? 

Individual with Schizophrenia often go through relapses and the commonest reason is Noncompliance/not being on regular medication. There are certain medications that are available as “Long acting Injection” and can be given as either a monthly or fortnightly injection. Discuss with your doctor as to whether this option will be good for you 

“My family member suffers from Schizophrenia and I am stressed out all the time-what should I do”? 

As a family member and care giver, it is indeed a significant stress in dealing with this illness in your family member. Talking to your doctor about the illness and understanding the course and plan for recovery will help your coping. However, if you are also going through significant stress, you may need to be evaluated for stress related disorder and as to whether also will some intervention through Counselling or medications. 

“If after recovery, what happens if I stop my medications prematurely? 

Schizophrenia is a relapse prone condition and premature discontinuation may increase the vulnerability of relapse. It is always advisable to discuss with your doctor regarding your health condition and need for medications and risks associated with premature discontinuation

Regular appointments are for 15 min slots. However, there is often the need for a larger time slot for assessment and intervention. At the time of booking the appointment, if needed a longer time slot can be booked.